Christmas came early for Miramonte Elementary’s third grade class as 91 students received new bikes, courtesy of a local church, during a surprise assembly Wednesday morning.
“We wanted to make sure that this was a great surprise for our kids, so we kept it a secret from the community,” said Principal Laura Hart. “But then there’s the logistics side of keeping it a secret too. You want to let the parents know but you don’t want them to tell the kids, so we didn’t really make contact with families until Monday. Some parents were able to show up because they knew we were having an assembly but they didn’t know the details. So, when they opened the curtains to show the bikes on the stage, the excitement was definitely something you could feel.”
The 90-plus bikes were purchased by neighboring Celebration Church in Clovis. Funds to purchase the bikes were raised through the church family in partnership with the Dream Center, a Los Angeles faith-based charitable organization.
“This is our fourth year doing [the giveaway],” said Celebration Church staff member Lance Heredia. “In previous years, we’ve nominated different schools like Jefferson, Sierra Vista and Viking [elementary schools].”
The students, many of whom come from economically disadvantaged homes, were selected by the church to renew a core value and celebrate the season of giving.
“We look at different schools within the district that are Title I or lower income,” Heredia added. “We’re always looking for ways to give back and we love partnering with our community. One of our core values at the church is we ‘live to give’ and we just love living that out – and this is just one ways we do that.”
Hart and her staff spend three weeks organizing the event and coordinating schedules to ensure that all parties (church staff members, parents, Clovis Unified officials, etc.) could be present — and those efforts came to fruition Wednesday.
“I’m impressed at the generosity of our community,” Hart said. “It’s always heartwarming to have the community help our kids. The church is really focused on making sure this holiday season is a joyful one for everybody, and the children really got to experience the excitement of giving.”